Monday, September 24, 2012

Never Before...

George Washington did not have to 'run' or 'campaign' for President.  As we are a Republic, he was elected by the elected representatives of the states.  However, in the subsequent elections - he was slammed in the press (by a surrogate of Washington's Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson) in an attempt to sway votes against him.  It didn't help, he won re-election with a unanimous vote.

However, the 'parties' that had formed, managed to fight over Vice President, and John Adams lost votes to George Clinton, Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr.

And things will never be the same...  

Two years later, United States Congressman Matthew Lyon was beaten on the floor of the Senate by Congressman Roger Griswold, with a wooden cane.  This, was after Lyon spat in Griswold's face.

In 1798, things had gotten so cantankerous, the 5th Congress of the United States passed the Alien and Sedition Acts, making it a federal crime to publish "false, scandalous, and malicious writing" against government officials.  However, FBI agents of the day, could not find a United States Attorney to prosecute it (...okay, that part I made up, but some things NEVER CHANGE!).

One of the first to be imprisoned under the new law was James Callender, who published pamphlets, the Richmond Examiner, and a book titled, The Prospect Before Us (available on eBay for $ 2012 dollars), in which he railed against John Adams and his party of Federalists.

Later that year, Congressman Lyon was arrested, tried, convicted, and spent time in jail, for criticizing our second President, John Adams.  (Lyon was essentially wrong, he published criticism of Adam's policy towards France, but either way - apparently our Founding Fathers had not heard of the 1st Amendment).  Lyon also published a newspaper, The Scourge of Aristocracy and Repository of Important Political Truth (a lot of the good names of newspapers were already taken).

Yadda, yadda, yadda...and we find ourselves in the election of 1800.  Adams vs Jefferson.

You think things today are bad?

Jefferson won, John Adams never again participated in national politics (somebody please send this link to Carter and Clinton), Alexander Hamilton was shot, and his murderer, Vice President Aaron Burr, was later tried for Treason, but charges were dropped by a meddling Supreme Court.

The Left does seem to be taking us in the wrong direction...but not exactly uncharted waters.


Woodsterman (Odie) said...

Sounds like our founders were getting the kinks out of our system of government while Obama is trying to put them back in.

LL said...

What fun they would have had hanging Kieth Olbermann, Rachel Maddow and Chris Matthews for violating the Alien and Sedition Acts against (President George W. Bush) the seated president, if they'd been alive back then.

I'd try and get the popcorn concession for that event. They didn't have hot dogs back then to peddle to the massing crowds.

Kimball said...

I'm with the Woodsterman. Obama is trying to take us in a completely different direction and thus the "speed bumps" such as the unavenged slaughter of US people in Libya.

Obama doesn't seem to be the sort of man we need at the helm right now.